At one point or another in our lives, we all have to live in a place which is not ours. Whether it’s for a time away from home, for school, or for work, we know what it’s like to stay in a place owned by someone else. And while we can get the comfort that we need eventually, we know that it is not permanent and we cannot stay in that place forever.
The kind of relationship you have with aged care or rental accommodation is bound by a paper and an expiration. Aside from the nagging feeling that you can’t call it your own (unless it goes on sale and you purchase it), this ‘relationship’ is also destined to end if limited finances can’t stretch to pay rent or accommodation costs anymore.
This is the situation today: many QLD seniors & aged are facing accommodation problems. Older Australians are living in fear as rent continues to increase, as their income decreases. Seniors who live in rental accommodation are also afraid to ask for requests or repairs because of fear of eviction. According to a recent research, there’s a widespread bullying of older tenants by management and landlords in the country today.
These seniors are vulnerable, especially when there is a little or no rule at all to protect them. Their fears are real—they can get evicted in a whim, whenever their landlord wishes to. Aside from the problem in security of tenure, older people who have spent their years renting have already exhausted their funds to cope with rising cost of living and with little savings available, they are afraid that they will become homeless soon.
This issue of seniors becoming homeless and having to live in a temporary accommodation is something we need to address as a nation as soon as possible. The numbers are growing and before it becomes unmanageable, a research conducted by the University of Western Australia’s Law School calls for the urgent changing of state laws governing family accommodation. They also recommended better training for those who are in managerial positions in community housing and new laws be passed to provide security of tenure and protection for boarders and lodgers. They also call out for a low or free legal advice for seniors who are having problems with their housing needs.
All of these are necessary, before we even see the baby boomers join the ageing population. It is projected that in 2050, 22 per cent of our population will become over 65 years old. Now, that’s a lot of seniors to find residential beds and be given proper aged care.
If you are still working and want a comfortable and dignified retirement, talk to us regarding your options now. It is never early or too late to start planning your finances. For retirement and aged care financial advice, give us a call at (07) 3229 0023.